It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo
We are currently in a multi-week series called Real Faith. When we began this project almost a year ago, we sent out a topic survey to over 8,000 people, and, by far, the most requested topics were topics of faith and the Christian life. We are going to have a lot of fun together looking at different areas of Christianity and our Faith and we are so glad you're along for the ride with us!
Today's topic is "The Holy Spirit" and we are excited to have a guest author back with us for this post. Cole serves as Worship Leader at Oak City Church in Birmingham, AL alongside his wife, Kelsey, and is the Creative and Communications Director for Stained Glass Ministries. We believe his words on the third Person of the Trinity are going to greatly impact you!
Dale and Jena Forehand are the founders of Stained Glass Ministries a non-profit 501 C3 ministry. They offer conferences and resources to build real relationships.
To find out more about their amazing grace story of marriage, divorce, and re-marriage to one another visit their website www.daleandjena.com.
You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram at @daleandjena
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I am so honored to write this blog and I am praying (even as I write this) that these words are not my own, but belong to The One I am blessed to be writing about!
As I write this, it is early fall here in Alabama - we've made it through what is "affectionately" known as False Fall and are experiencing some true fall weather.
Fall is a special season for our little family as it is the gateway to our favorite holidays, foods, birthday celebrations, and more. We have many traditions in our house - going to Trader Joe's for decor and all things Pumpkin flavored, setting out our "Give Thanks" door hanger made for us by my mom in our first year of marriage, watching Gilmore Girls, playing Nicklecreek's self-titled album on vinyl at every opportunity, and preparing the indoor and outdoor fireplaces for use as soon the temperature gets low enough!
One other tradition is my re-reading J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece - The Lord of The Rings. You probably remember the story, Frodo must return The One Ring to Mount Doom and destroy it to bring about the salvation of Middle Earth. However, in the midst of this great epic, there are dynamic characters and relationships to explore. The central relationship in the series is Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee, his once gardener turned best friend. As a matter of fact, Samwise Gamgee might just be the greatest friend in literature. Friendship, it seems, is where this blog is headed.
The Holy Spirit is sent to us, by Jesus,
to be the best friend that we will ever have.
It was almost 8 years ago that Kelsey and I were handed the book that has impacted our lives the most - second to God's word. Little did we know, that this book would set us on the most exciting and fulfilling journey of our lives. During a season of questioning, testing, and re-building, our mentors handed us each a copy of Pastor Robert Morris' book The God I Never Knew. The tagline of the book is "How Real Friendship with The Holy Spirit can change your life."
It was during the reading of this book that I encountered this so-important Person in ways I didn't know were possible and learned about His personality and ways of interacting with me. I began to see Him as a Person - not and "it".
As a matter of fact, I so deeply believe in His Personhood that I have stopped using the article "the" when talking about Him - I simply use His name, Holy Spirit.
I met Him face-to-face while sitting in the woods of West Texas. I know His voice every time He beckons me (John 10:27). All of these experiences have led me into a level of deep friendship with Holy Spirit.
True friendship with Holy Spirit will change the trajectory of your life
and the generations that will follow you!
One of the big light-switch moments for me in reading TGINK was when Pastor Robert explained the "here and now" roles of The Trinity. You see, in this current season of time each member of The Godhead is fulfilling different roles and are interacting with creation (us!) in different ways.
"The Father is on His throne. Jesus has been seated at His right hand and, according to Hebrews 10:12-13, will remain there "waiting till His enemies are made His footstool." The Holy Spirit, however, is active and present and commissioned to interact with us on the earth today"
Robert Morris | The God I Never Knew pg. 14
This switch in thinking had a great impact on my understanding of The Trinity and my ways of interacting with (praying to) them. Once I fully grasped that Holy Spirit is tasked, by The Father, to interact with me during my time on Earth, I experienced a desire to interact back with Him almost instantly. It has been through these interactions that we have developed an incredibly close and personal friendship with one another.
Friendship is, by its very definition, a connection that requires the investment and intentionality of both involved parties.
Are you picking up what I am setting down? Yes, we have a part to play in this relationship, but so does He! That's what makes this friendship so fun and fulfilling. It's a two-way street of connection with The Master of The Universe!
A quick scan of Scripture reveals to us what He brings to the friendship - His Fruit, Gifts and Charisms, Comfort, Revelation, Help, and so much more.
So, what do we bring to this friendship? We bring ourselves. Pretty mind-blowingly good, right? He brings all of that, and we just have to bring ourselves.
This truth has rocked my world on many occasions. All I have to bring to this relationship is....me? What about my gifts? What about my worship? What about the parts of me that I would rather my friend not know about? What about my status? Nope. None of that is required for this friendship to be mutually beneficial. Being in total, connected relationship with His creation was the point of the cross, and friendship with Holy Spirit is the pathway we take to connect with God, The Father.
Friendship with The Holy Spirit is the closest we can get to our original design - walking with Him in the garden in the cool of the day.
I don't know about you, but something begins to bubble up inside of me when I remember that there is a way to return to my original design this side of eternity. If God, in His Perfection, created me to walk with Him and has provided a way for me to do that (Thank You, Jesus!), everything in me is crying out to actively fulfill this design! (Psalm 84)
Yes, there is so much more to dive into when it comes to Holy Spirit. Yes, there are questions (and answers!) that people have depending on their traditions and faith communities. Yes, there are things that I am still learning about this Person.
But, in all of that, I can honestly say that having a Friendship with Holy Spirit is like the cool fall breeze blowing through the limbs outside of my office window - thrilling and calming, refreshing and energizing, unexpected and familiar.
I bless you to press into deeper connection and friendship with Holy Spirit and to experience the glory of His goodness. In Jesus' Name!